Southeast Asia is nothing but an interesting region to explore! With its beautiful and magnificent destinations, tourists never miss including it to their bucket list. But aside from the great places you can visit, the region also serves its visitors with delectable Southeast Asian Food.

On this list, we’re giving not just the must-try dishes but also the most exotic food that will give you a crazy gastronomic experience!


Aside from having the most breathtaking views of rolling hills and a taste of paradise through its pristine beaches, the Philippines serve the most palatable cuisines.

1. Sinigang

Sinigang is one of the most popular dishes in the Philippines. This Pinoy classic consists of a delicious broth soured by tamarind, tomatoes, and sometimes, kamias. Aside from the meat, sinigang has different vegetables. Popular variants are pork sinigang, beef sinigang, and prawns sinigang.

2. Balut

If you’ve been searching about the Philippines, for sure Balut has popped up in at least one article. It is a 16 to 21-day old fertilized duck egg that contains not only a yolk but also a semi-developed duck embryo that’s eaten from the shell! Disgusting for some but with a bit of getting used to, you’ll finally understand that this exotic Southeast Asian food is something you must try.


Cambodian cuisine may not be as world-famous as its neighboring countries like Thailand and Vietnam but it’s just as delicious and worth traveling to.

3. Fish Amok

Fish amok is Cambodia’s signature dish and among the most famous Southeast Asian food. The fillets of freshwater fish are smothered in coconut milk, eggs, fish sauce, and palm sugar. Kroeung, a paste made from pounded spices and other ingredients, such as turmeric, kaffir lime, lemongrass, and shallots, is also added. The traditional way to cook the dish is by steaming it in a bowl made of banana leaves.

4. Fried Spider

A-Ping or fried tarantulas are cooked just like any regular deep-fried dish, seasoned with spices and dipped into the water-based mixture. Your trip to Cambodia is incomplete without this.


Vietnamese food is known to be robust in flavor, thanks to its generous combination of fresh herbs and greens combined with rice, noodles, seafood, pork, and beef. A typical Vietnamese meal consists of rice or noodles, meat, vegetables, soup, and fermented fish sauce.

5. Banh Xeo (Crispy Pancake)

Banh xeo or crispy pancake is made of rice flour, coconut milk, and turmeric, which you can fill with vermicelli noodles, shrimps, chicken, pork or beef slices, sliced onions, beansprouts, and mushrooms. You can buy this at roadside stalls and local markets. Eat like a local by wrapping your banh xeo in lettuce leaves or rice papers together with nem lui (lemongrass pork skewers), mint leaves, basil, before dipping in fermented peanut sauce.

6. Silkworm Pupae

It might be weird for some but insects are some of Vietnam’s delicacies. The silkworm pupae are among the most popular exotic foods in Vietnam. The pupae will be boiled and dried first before being fried with lemon and onion leaves.


Thailand is frequented by tourists mostly because of its delectable Thai cuisine. It’s no surprise that Thai food has become world-famous.

7. Pad Thai

Pad thai is one of Thailand’s national dishes and is a go-to for tourists who are starting out their Thai cuisine exploration. These rice noodles are stir-fried with tofu, bean sprouts, eggs, and either shrimp or chicken, some other seasonings like chili, fish sauce, ground peanuts, and sugar. To make it more delicious, squeeze a lime juice before digging in. 

8. Larb Mote Daeng

Imagine eating red ants with their eggs? Yup! Only in Thailand. It’s made up of red ants with their eggs soured by lime juice. The thought of it makes us already cringe but it tastes unexpectedly great.

If you want to get a taste of Southeast Asian food and plan to travel to any of these places, don’t forget to book budget hotels with high-quality accommodation at


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